Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hidden Poo, Happy Home

Like many of you, The Kiefer Cottage is delighted to employ a kitty-in-residence as a recreational, stress-reducing, and pest-control device.

When we picked up our orange tabby model, dubbed "Rufus", a couple of months back, his disposal software was still in Beta. Like any buggy software, a little compromise was required, so we placed Rufus' waste output receptacle in an easy-to-find location while keeping it away from the stomping grounds of the small ones.

This worked well for a while, but with two issues. First, we wanted to start using the room given over to Rufus' waste management. Having his waste receptacle in there was no longer possible. Second, the small ones have gotten proficient at door knob operation, and with an abundance of curiosity that overrides any semblance of self-control or self-preservation, they will go anywhere at any time, including Rufus' waste management facility.

My Project Manager, ever the font of ideas, decided that we should relocate Rufus' waste receptacle to the basement. The only obstacle was the door to the basement, which for the preservation of the small ones, we keep shut and locked. As any kitty owner knows, a kitty must be allowed to access the waste receptacle at will, and at any hour, because the kitty will output waste, one way or another.

Thankfully, somewhere along the timeline of history, another human encountered a similar incompatibility between their kitty unit and small ones, and devised a solution: a door-within-a-door that is only large enough to allow passage of the kitty.

This model was even color-matched to our kitty unit. Awesome!

So, with a trip to Lowes for a plastic, premade version of the door-within-a-door and a few tools borrowed from my coworker, I set to work.

The kit of a man who knows no brand loyalty. 

Dumb old hinge pins never come out easily.

Caution: There Be Dragons. Or maybe just a step down that you won't want to miss.

Removing a door is always a prime pain in the ass. I have not yet devised a graceful way to do it. But off it came, onto the sawhorses.

The rule for cutting pretty much anything is "measure twice, cut once."

But that takes too much time. So I eyeballed it, taped down the handy template that came with the door-within-a-door, and drilled large, cannot-undo holes into the door. Then I drew some straight lines between those holes and went to work with a jigsaw (with the sloppy-but-fast blade attached, of course).

And suddenly, there was a large square hole in my door, into which I prayed fervently the door-within-a-door would fit.

Square-ish, I guess...

Thankfully, it did. Snugly. Very snugly. Next time I need to cut something, I'll employ Marge Innoverra to tell me what the outer acceptable boundaries are so'z I don't have to grunt and swear so much.

Doorway cat will watch you masticate. No, really. This door is in the kitchen!

Installed, it looks nice enough. It's $20 cheapness goes perfectly well with the wood-paneling encrusted door.

The kitty unit's software has downloaded the door-within-a-door app, but has only successfully attempted use once in the presence of a human. When the kitty's software fully integrates the door-within-a-door app into its native code, we will be able to relocate the waste receptacle, to the delight of all.


  1. Excellent post! You had me cracking up, turning a kitty door installation into a RFP! Awesome!

    Now...will your cat use the door? Mine are brain-damaged, evidently, and have never figured out the kitty door I installed between the den and the "cat box room" five years ago. If the kitty door closes long enough, they'll poop wherever they can. :-(

  2. Good work, my friend. Nothing like a successful project. :)


Thank you for your comments. We appreciate sincerity, snark, and general praise.

Blogging tips